REFLECTION FOR TODAY
May 3, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Philip said to Jesus, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” Jn. 14:8-9
In our gospel reference of today, we are presented with an encounter that Philip had with Jesus. Though this encounter appears to be a rebuke of Philip by Jesus, it’s a rebuke that is quite heartfelt. Jesus says, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you still do not know me, Philip?”
Jesus had spent some quality time with His disciples. He stayed with them, ate, traveled, and had some good conversation with them. So, Jesus’ comments to Philip came from His real and lived personal relationship with Philip.
Let us take the first part of Jesus comment: “Have I been with you so long…” Imagine Jesus saying this to you. Is this something He would be able to say to us? Is it true that we spend some quality time with Him? Do we spend time reading and reflecting on the Bible, do we speak to Him from the depths of our heart, conversing with Him, praying to Him, and listening to His gentle voice?
But Jesus goes on: “…and you still do not know me…?” This is a humble truth that is important to admit. It is true that even those who have a very deep and transforming life of prayer do not know our Lord deeply enough. There is no limit to the transformation that can take place in our lives when we know Jesus personally.
Jesus’ statement goes on: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” So, the next question is this: “Do we know the Father?” Do we know the Father’s love, His care for us, His perfect will? Though the Father and the Son are united, they are still distinct Persons, and we must, therefore, work to establish a relationship of love with each one of them.
As initially mentioned, the comments from Jesus are a gentle rebuke of love to Philip, and He wants to speak this same gentle rebuke to us. But It is a rebuke of love meant to encourage us to get to know Him better. It’s an invitation to personalize our relationship with Jesus and the Father in a real and concrete way. Do you know Him? Do you know the Son of God? Do you know the Father in Heaven?
Reflect, today, upon these loving questions of our Lord as if they were spoken to you. Let His words encourage you to get to know Him more deeply. Pray for your relationship to become more personal and transforming. And as you get to know our Lord more intimately, know that it is also the Father in Heaven Whom you are getting to know.
My divine and personal Lord, it is the deepest desire of Your Sacred Heart to know me and to love me. Fill my heart with this same desire so that I will not only know You, dear Lord, but also the Father in Heaven. Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your perfect love and pray that I may open myself to that love more fully each day. Jesus, I trust in You.